1. How can mentoring prevent homelessness?
Mentoring can prevent homelessness by increasing the support network for individuals and families struggling to remain housed. Poverty can be exhausting and isolating and giving up becomes an option, but a mentor can provide encouragement and options that the individual needs to move forward. Besides, 70% of corporate executives admit to having mentors. Isn’t that a good reason for everyone to have one?
2. What is the time commitment for a volunteer mentor?
Mentors commit to 6 hours a month for the minimum of a year. They commit to getting together in person and on the phone to build a relationship and develop skills necessary to remain housed.
3. Where do I meet with my mentee?
Mentors meet with mentee in their homes or at an agreed upon meeting place. On occasion, Trusted Mentors will provide free tickets to events in the community.
4. What does training cover?
Training introduces prospective mentors to the essentials of successful mentoring. It covers the dynamics of poverty and re-entry after incarceration, and provides information about how to help a person move forward in their lives.
5. Can I give my mentee money to help them through a crisis?
The loaning or giving of money is against Trusted Mentors policy. Mentors are “not babysitters, banks, busses or bottles”, and the giving of money will skew the relationship away from mentoring.
6. Who can I ask for help after I’m matched?
The Trusted Mentor staff provides on-going support during the life of the match. They are available for consultation and also offer Mentor Roundtables for the sharing of successes and struggles with other mentors.
7. Is homelessness a problem? Isn’t it their own fault?
In Indianapolis, over 1,500 people are homeless on any given night. Forty percent are families, with 30% children. Of the youth who age out of foster care, statistically 40% will find themselves homeless or incarcerated within 18 months of turning 18 and becoming independent.
Choices often affect homelessness, but many who struggle to remain housed have difficult choices and don’t know what options they have before them. Many have given up or find that isolation is easier than moving forward. A mentor can be the support and connection to believing in themselves and that possibilities exist.
8. Where do you find the mentees?
Mentees are referred to Trusted Mentors by referring agencies in Indianapolis. These agencies maintain the case management as Trusted Mentors does not have a case manager on staff. All mentees are housed at the time that the match is made, and the acceptance of a mentor is an option, not a requirement.
9. Where do mentors come from? Are there any skills necessary to mentor?
Mentors come from all walks of life. We have professionals and the formerly homeless who serve as mentors. The skills necessary are a compassionate heart and the ability to be responsible for maintaining the relationship, even if it’s not easy.
10. I believe in the mission of Trusted Mentors, but do not feel as if mentoring is a good option for me. Are there other ways to volunteer?
Trusted Mentors wants to involve anyone interested in volunteering to help prevent homelessness. We need help with Recognition Nights, in the office, and with public relations.
11. Why mentor ex-offenders?
Many ex-offenders leave prison with the desire to do it differently and not return, but they will have many obstacles on their journey. Statistics show that individuals who have mentors are more likely to find a job – a condition that provides more opportunities and improves other outcomes.